Clix Capital, a digital lending platform, is aiming to disburse around Rs 5,000 crore this financial year, more than double that in the pandemic hit 2020-21 with an increased focus on retail lending. The Gurugram-based NBFC had disbursed Rs 2,220 crore in 2020-21 and around Rs 4,000 crore in 2019-20.
Clix Capital founder Anil Chawla said the company continuously strives to bridge the credit gap in unserved and underserved segments such as new-to-credit customers and MSMEs. ‘Towards this objective, we deploy cutting-edge technologies and insightful innovations in driving lending models responsive to the end-customers needs while significantly boosting financial inclusion. The company will continue its steady credit quality-led growth, focussing on the retail-lending segment,’ he said in an interaction with PTI.
He further said that the lending platform is in a position to disburse even Rs 6,000 crore keeping in mind market conditions and if there is no other lockdown. Presently, Clix Capital has a presence across 11 cities in the country and envisages deeper penetration in these markets with a focus on digital lending. As a digital-first company, a large part of Clix’s product offerings is fully digital. Chawla said digital platform enables an organization to attain scale with minimal addition of human resources, helping achieve higher profitability faster.
But businesses that are feet-on-street intensive, such as the mortgage and equipment finance business, need more human resources to originate and underwrite, he said, and added those businesses will witness more hiring while expanding. The NBFC said that its strong focus on technology and strategic partnerships has helped it scale up and expand its footprint to around four million customers within four years. This was achieved by building a strong franchise of fast-growing businesses across SME lending, consumer finance, mortgages and equipment finance, Chawla said.
He further said with COVID-19 hitting the livelihoods of low-to middle-income people, small businesses have been hugely impacted. ‘As banks and NBFCs’ collections and recovery cycles are affected, delinquency levels have gone up drastically. Lenders have also tightened underwriting norms, citing uncertain macroeconomic conditions. In turn, loan disbursals have been hard hit, leaving the industry stuck in a vicious cycle,’ he added.
The biggest challenge is the rise in non-performing assets (NPAs) that impacts the overall asset quality, he said. With an alarming increase in restructured assets, based on the relaxation provided to borrowers by the government, there is a thin line that separates wilful and non-willful defaults, Chawla said. According to him, lenders like Clix with a leaner setup and high digital focus will be able to pivot and cater to evolving customer requirements fast. The company expects to grow its retail business and reduce corporate exposure further in 2021-22.